WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gunfire investigation after what police say was ‘road rage’

(Texted photo)

2:43 PM: Thanks for the tips. Police are investigating gunfire on 42nd SW between Edmunds and Hudson around quarter till 1 this afternoon. One reader says a vehicle was hit. A nearby resident tells us that some sort of argument between two men preceded the gunfire; the shooter got into a car and left. The archived police-radio exchanges include a description of the shooter as a Black man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall, thin, in a yellow vest or jacket and red pants, who got into a black 4-door sedan, possibly a Hyundai, and left southbound on 42nd. Officers told dispatch that they found ten .40-caliber casings. We’re still pursuing more information and will add anything else we find out.

9:31 PM: Just in from police, their preliminary summary, which includes new information:

Officers responded to a Shots call near 42 AV SW and SW Edmunds St regarding a male shooting at a vehicle. Upon arrival, Officers located several shell casings on 42 AV SW just south of SW Edmunds St. The victim’s vehicle was located further south on 42 AV SW and SW Dawson St. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that this started as a road rage incident. The driver of the silver sedan, who at first denied having any involvement in the incident, later told officers he honked his horn at the suspect who was walking in the roadway. The suspect in response to being honked at used his hand to bang on the hood of the silver sedan. The driver then got out and confronted the suspect. Some heated words were exchanged between both parties. As the suspect decided to walk away, the driver picked up a rock and threw it at the suspect. More words were exchanged, and the suspect attempted to walk away again. The driver then chased after the suspect on foot. This is when the suspect pulled out a handgun and fired several shots in the direction of the driver. 10 shell casings were located at the scene. The suspect was not located at the time of this incident.

65 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gunfire investigation after what police say was 'road rage'"

  • StopCuttingDownTrees February 27, 2021 (4:16 pm)

    INCREASE SPD funding NOW!

    • Rob February 27, 2021 (6:40 pm)

      How about stricter gun laws and trying to remove existing guns instead? How would more police funding have prevented these shots from being fired?

      • Mel February 27, 2021 (7:23 pm)

        Police have a lot to do with the reduction of crime. When they arrest people for things like drug offenses, property crimes, etc and those individuals are actually charged, they’re off the streets even for a short amount of time and therefore can’t commit more crime. If all of the criminals around this city were actually serving time for the crimes they committed, our overall crime would probably go down.

        Stricter gun laws? I’m 100% in favor of background checks and strict gun laws but I’d bet money that these people aren’t legal gun owners. So you just want to take guns from those who actually follow the rules and go through the required process?

        • Samy February 27, 2021 (9:12 pm)

          Except there is absolutely NO evidence that this incident was perpetrated by someone known to the police, who was previously arrested, or was ever “let off”. Perhaps they were, but other people get into arguments, too, you know. And, yes,  licensed owners also discharge their weapons in anger. The truth is that the proliferation of firearms — legal or not — greatly increases the likelihood of harm to individuals and the community.

          • StopCuttingDownTrees February 27, 2021 (10:57 pm)

            There is no such thing as “licensed gun owners” in our State. Further, firearms registration is illegal under federal law due to the FOPA Act. This shooting is a criminal act, not the fault of our State’s 2+ million gun owners.  

          • Eldorado February 28, 2021 (7:47 am)

            It’s called a CPL ‘concealed pistol license’ and it’s available in Washington State and many others. 

          • StopCuttingDownTrees February 28, 2021 (3:34 pm)

            A CPL is not a requirement to carry a pistol in our State. One can openly-carry legally. We have no idea if this shooter was legally carrying concealed with a CPL, illegally concealing, or illegally open-carrying (stolen gun, criminal history, etc.)

      • bb February 27, 2021 (8:34 pm)

        There are already stricter gun laws. Plus making gun laws stricter wouldn’t help if someone in their 20’s has a clean record, which is a lot more than you think.

      • Nora February 28, 2021 (8:59 am)

        It wouldn’t have. But maybe if the driver had let the gun owner walk away (like he tried to do TWICE) instead of throwing rocks and then chasing, that could have prevented this.The only thing that I can say I would have done differently here is that I wouldn’t have pounded on the car’s hood in the first place.

        • Resident February 28, 2021 (11:21 am)

          Victim shaming? What is your problem?! Throwing rocks is not a license to shoot someone.

          • JES February 28, 2021 (1:40 pm)

            Victim shaming…? The driver was repeatedly the aggressor, throwing rocks and chasing someone who walked away twice. Who in their right mind thinks that’s ok? He obviously didn’t since he initially lied to police about it. 

          • Vincent March 1, 2021 (9:05 am)

            Throwing rocks is assault with a deadly weapon. Its always up to a jury, but self defense 100% applies here. The thrower wasn’t trying to give out hugs, they *intended* to cause injury, and even death on someone who the driver admits actively tried to retreat several times.

          • Nora March 1, 2021 (8:53 pm)

            My problem is that I can’t imagine being in a situation where someone is throwing rocks at me and chasing me and not feeling a need to defend myself.My first reaction is to disengage, but if I’m feeling threatened and unable to escape, I don’t know what I would do. If I’m armed during the threat, firing would probably cross my mind.

      • Rick_WS February 28, 2021 (2:11 pm)

        How about dont escalate.  Throwing  rocks is stupid and dangerous.  I could get you shot. 

      • Alex S. March 1, 2021 (1:04 pm)

        Stricter gun laws in Seattle will do absolutely nothing, since people can drive 15 minutes in any direction to buy more and more and more guns.  Gun bans in Washington State will never pass, since Seattle is only a fraction of the state’s population and a negligible influence in the legislature.  Most criminals get their guns by stealing them from lawful gun owners… so without gun confiscation (which would defy the US and WA constitutions, criminals will ALWAYS find a way to get guns.   Right now, we are going in the wrong direction thanks to Seattle’s criminal-friendly city council, muni court judges, and useless city attorney.   The people who are supposed to be protecting us are literally letting violent repeat criminals (who use guns as a tool) out of jail and back to the street – without bail, and without any chance they will show up to their next hearing.  Gun crimes and violent crimes will continue to rise so long as the small group of people committing them are continually being excused and enabled, without the slightest push to make them accountable.    I was a strong supporter of stricter gun laws for decades – until I looked into what works and what doesn’t.  And until I observed what is realistic, and what is pie-in-the-sky. 

  • WSMom February 27, 2021 (5:21 pm)

    Agreed!A shooting in broad daylight in the Junction is no joke

  • Mel February 27, 2021 (5:48 pm)

    I’m afraid to see what crime is going to be like in WS come summertime. This laid back approach to tackling crime is not working for our city. 

  • wsresident February 27, 2021 (5:49 pm)

    Not surprised something happened at that house, I’ve seen some crazy and strange things taking place there over the years. 

    • Terri February 27, 2021 (8:08 pm)

      Please reserve judgment until there is some actual evidence that it had anything to do with “that house” or the people who live there.

  • JW February 27, 2021 (6:02 pm)

    Enough is enough! This is what happens when there are no consequences for people’s actions. We have a city council and court system that is too soft on crime.  They seem to be more concerned for those who rob cheat and commit violence than they do for those of us who  make good decisions in our lives.  I’m fed up with my tax dollars being spent on supporting their lifestyles when my safety is at risk just walking in my neighborhood. 

    • Byebye February 27, 2021 (6:42 pm)

      I’d say farewell but I really just mean bye. Our system is designed to create extreme differences and in west seaattle other wealthy/poor are having the run currently. Im in it for the long haul but can’t blame you if you’re not as hard core ;)

    • Mellow Kitty February 27, 2021 (8:25 pm)


    • What next? February 27, 2021 (10:59 pm)

      100% agree

    • Brian February 28, 2021 (11:03 am)

      Exactly. City Council hasn’t made any moves to remove Durkan from the mayorship so it’s clear that they are 100% fine allowing crime to continue without consequences. 

      • Resident February 28, 2021 (11:22 am)

        The council is the problem.

    • Vincent March 1, 2021 (9:07 am)

      100% agree, the driver should be arrested after admitting they attempted to assault someone 3 times in this altercation.

  • Don February 27, 2021 (6:56 pm)

    I am learning self defense because of the lack of defunding. 

    • Huh February 27, 2021 (7:05 pm)


    • Lina February 27, 2021 (7:37 pm)

      Maybe you could also take some time to learn grammar, I think you’ve got typo

  • Just Curious February 27, 2021 (8:17 pm)

    I am sympathetic to your concerns and want to engage in good faith, as I often see this sort of response to shootings here on WSB and it makes me wonder.

    Honest questions: Do you believe that the firearm used in this incident was purchased legally? If so why?

    Have you yourself ever gone through the process of trying to purchase a firearm including the requisite federal NICS background check?

    Balancing liberty, security, privacy and the needs of the greater community can be unfortunately difficult. As with most issues, I feel like the reality is complicated and that solutions lie somewhere in the middle of two generally opposing narratives/solutions.

    I am open to hearing other ideas, but shy of full confiscation I am not sure what more legislation could have done to prevent this sad event, unless we want to allow illegal search and seizure of property by the police so they can go on fishing expeditions in peoples homes and apartments looking for contraband, which would open up a much bigger can of worms.

    There are usually many factors beyond access to firearms that contribute to this kind of unfortunate incident. Hopefully we as a community can do more to address the underlying issues and root causes that lead to these situations and do better to treat each other as valued members of our human family. All included.

    Stay safe and be well.

    • Just Curious February 27, 2021 (8:37 pm)

      Whoops, the above was supposed to be a reply to Rob’s comment from 2/27 at 6:40pm. Not sure how to fix it now that I already posted :/

      P.S. Thank you Mel for your additions in response to Rob’s original post.

    • Rick_WS February 28, 2021 (2:19 pm)

      I can’t disagree.  I have two legally purchased firearms locked up in another state.  legal firearms owners are not very likely to discharge a weapon in a situation like this,  nor would they be stupid enough to escalate an incident by throwing stones. Am I off base? 

  • Jim February 27, 2021 (9:20 pm)

    I live in an apartment building near the incident and I happened to be looking out my window when the incident occurred. (It had nothing to do with the residents of the house at 42nd and Edmonds, so please don’t accuse if you didn’t observe.) I observed a tall young light skinned black man with short dreadlocks in a bright yellow sweatshirt and red sport pants firing five shots from a large pistol at a white, mid sized car, which sped away. The shooter didn’t seem to have experience using a gun because the flashes seemed more like misses than hits. Plus, after the shooting he and his girlfriend (?) fled nearby, both obviously shaken.  He was holding his wrist and seemed in pain. No blood was found at the site. Soon after, they got into a late model black mid sized hatch back car and drove south on 42nd. Apparently, a bystander was hurt, but not seriously. I suffer from insomnia and often am aware of what transpires on 42nd Ave SW near Edmonds in the wee hours of the morning. On a daily basis there are cars standing in the street with people moving between cars. I reported all this to the officer. He told me that one of the people living near the scene had a security camera that recorded the event.

    • WSB February 27, 2021 (9:27 pm)

      There was an aid (low-level medical) call to 42nd/Dawson but SFD’s PIO could not tell me whether it was related – it was the only medical callout to the area around that time. She did say it was a minor injury and NOT a gunshot wound (which would normally draw a large ‘scenes of violence’-classified response). I was hoping to obtain some level of police report by now but haven’t succeeded – TR

      • WSB February 27, 2021 (9:31 pm)

        … and that said, I *just* received the preliminary version of the police narrative, which calls this a “road rage incident.” Adding above.

    • StopCuttingDownTrees February 28, 2021 (1:08 am)

      If the above description of the incident is accurate, the shooter (pedestrian) was defending himself against a potentially-deadly attack (thrown rock) from a violent driver. After being shot at by the pedestrian/suspect, let’s hope he learned not to throw rocks and run after pedestrians. 

    • Chuck February 28, 2021 (10:30 pm)

      Inexperienced shooters often get “slide bite” if they don’t hold a gun correctly. That’s probably why his hand was injured. Hope they catch him!

  • Elle Nell February 27, 2021 (11:17 pm)

    The person in the car should have called the police and not engaged with the suspect. Suspect tried to walk away 2 times… call police you law and order, FUND POLICE, citizens.. sheesh! Guaranteed and would bet $1000, no shots would have been fired. Micro aggressions at its finest… surely. 

  • Mel February 28, 2021 (6:27 am)

    Thank you for the additional info! While I don’t believe the suspect was right in pulling out his gun, the driver shares much of the blame. All this over road rage? Why would you throw a rock and chase someone? Knowing how short fused people are these days, the driver should’ve left it alone and just driven off. It’s not worth it. 

    • S. Roit February 28, 2021 (10:25 am)

      I agree with you.  Just let the guy walk on. Don’t throw rocks. Don’t chase. Yes, it’s aggravating when people block you in the road, but not worth making it a bigger deal. There are always pedestrians around there, always cars. I’ve noticed for a while (before  covid) that people are more and more short tempered. I live close and have almost been run over more than once, and I was legally crossing. I was even sworn at, threatened, and almost PURPOSELY run over, over by Whole Foods. I said some words back, and they pulled over I ducked into the store, scared  I still wouldn’t pull a gun. Yet maybe that kid was scared the guy in the car meant to really harm him. Can’t tell anymore. I know I was scared that night and texted people as well as told a store clerk. TLDR: sorry to see West Seattle get crowded and angry. 

  • AMD February 28, 2021 (7:41 am)

    So this sounds like the shooting was self-defense.  I would hope commenters would see that and take a minute before rushing to judgment and assuming the incident was a direct result of whatever their peeve du jour is next time they see news like this.  Nothing makes me feel less safe in my neighborhood than reading my neighbors’ overreacting based on assumptions in the absence of facts.  I’m glad no one was seriously hurt, and I hope this motorist handles himself better next time he sees a pedestrian.

  • Me February 28, 2021 (8:29 am)

    I was walking on 42nd and saw the guy in red pants. He was breathing hard, so I thought that he was a runner or was doing some sort of workout. When the silver sedan drove by, he started breathing even harder, so I turned around and saw him hiding behind the parked car, and then he started shooting at the back of the silver sedan. Then the girl started screaming at the intersection of 42nd and Edmunds, and then she ran towards the shooting. 

  • Matt February 28, 2021 (8:40 am)

    Sounds like self defense to me. 

  • Hakiem Musta February 28, 2021 (9:10 am)

    Things will change and west Seattle will be ok.  

  • Brian Hughes February 28, 2021 (9:16 am)

    Unfortunately the only way more police would have helped us if they happened to be nearby right when the even occurred. I’m guessing the entire thing was over within one minute.  The ready availability of firearms, especially pistols, absolutely plays a role in this. How he got the gun doesn’t really matter – there are so many guns out there that focusing on whether someone followed all the rules or not isn’t helpful at this point. Legally/illegally obtained, they all were manufactured legally and in shockingly enormous quantities. But that cat’s out of the bag. We simply have to accept at this moment in time that there is a high likelihood that every person we encounter is armed.  And an extremely small number of these people have any sort of formal training in, let alone actual experience with, when to resort to deadly force as well as how to actually do it. Look at this joker for instance. He sprays 10 rounds at relatively close distance in a neighborhood full of kids, walkers, cyclists (I rode through a few minutes after it happened), hurts his wrist in the process, and by the grace of God somehow manages to hit nothing. Anywho, until we stop making pistols and then manage to melt the vast majority currently in circulation down into plow blades, this is the life we have collectively chosen.  An armed society is a polite society?  I’m not holding my breath. 

  • newnative February 28, 2021 (9:23 am)

    I find it interesting that only one person is being referred to as a “suspect” when not only were two people involved but an argument could be made that the shooter was a victim “standing his ground”. He made several attempts to leave and the driver not only threw a rock but chased him. Not to mention there was no reason for the driver to leave his car to confront and assault a pedestrian. I hope charges will be leveled against him as well. 

    • S. Roit February 28, 2021 (10:30 am)


    • Resident February 28, 2021 (11:36 am)

      Seattle does not have a stand your ground law. So there is just one victim here. You can’t shoot someone for throwing rocks.This comes from a CCL holder and multiple gun owner including one in my truck at all times.

      • Matt February 28, 2021 (11:42 am)

        Cops use deadly force when rocks are thrown at them.  Why would it be wrong here? https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pasco-cops-cleared-shooting-man-who-threw-rocks-are-returned-n432691

      • S. Roit February 28, 2021 (11:51 am)

        No one said they could. More than one thing can be true. Don’t throw rocks at people. He tried to walk away. Twice. Don’t shoot at people. See how easy that is? The man in the car committed assault. The man with the gun, other charges, of course. 

      • StopCuttingDownTrees February 28, 2021 (1:32 pm)

        Washington State has one of the strongest “stand your ground” statutes in the Nation. A thrown rock is deadly force and the shooter/victim in this case MAY have been justified in firing. But he is also guilty of pounding on the driver’s vehicle, so both of these characters need to be arrested and questioned, at least.

      • TM7302 March 1, 2021 (11:04 am)

        Washington does not  have a “stand your ground” legislative law, however previous case law has set a precedent for the practice.

  • RT February 28, 2021 (9:36 am)

    Why do we feel compelled to mention the race of the shooter but not the race of the other person involved in this incident? From the report added last night, it seems the other person (not the shooter) was the instigator and the black man was acting in self defense.

    • JES February 28, 2021 (4:14 pm)

      Agreed. I would hope the media is capable of and willing to examine their biased reporting here.

      • WSB February 28, 2021 (4:30 pm)

        Well, the only media reporting this is us, to my knowledge. So it appears you’re accusing me of bias. Here’s the deal: We often report incrementally. When we initially reported this, police were looking for someone who fired shots. Period. The first paragraph is mine. If we have description information when police are looking for someone, we include it. And so we did here. I have no idea what the other person in the altercation looked like. There was no indication they were looking for another person. The update, seven hours later, is a verbatim quote from police, referring to the person who fired the gun as a “suspect.” Police frankly often use that word incorrectly – they refer to a “suspect” when what they really mean is “the robber” or “the shooter” or “the driver” – but don’t get me going on that. Did the person who fired the gun commit a crime? I don’t know. I do know that our initial coverage was of police looking for someone who fired a gun, and that’s why they were described. – TR

        • JES March 1, 2021 (7:09 am)

          Sure, I guess I’m ‘accusing’ you of bias but we all have underlying biases that we need to be aware of and actively work to eliminate. You can always go back and change the wording in your initial report to make it less harmful. 

  • Mj February 28, 2021 (9:57 am)

    I’m not condoning the incident, but the suspect was walking away and was then assaulted via having a rock thrown at them.  This could be construed as self defense?

  • WestTwo February 28, 2021 (10:39 am)

    The only ‘reason’ why the ‘suspect’ in this incident is termed as a “suspect” , is because he is a “Black man”.The guy in the car was surely the aggressor in the battle, and it could have cost him his life had things played out differently.

    • Tyr1001 March 1, 2021 (8:05 am)

      Or perhaps because he had the gun and ran, as did the driver. But the driver was found and questioned. How do you know the driver wasn’t also a “black man”? Or what consequences he will face? You don’t, it fits a narrative and you’re stirring the pot. That isn’t helpful. They both made bad choices. 

  • Brian February 28, 2021 (10:56 am)

    Wow that motorist is 100% an idiot and I’m not surprised at all at what happened as a result. 

  • crows knows February 28, 2021 (5:41 pm)

    Both made mistakes, and both made choices to escalate. However, it’s important to look at what started the chain reaction of this road rage incident… impatient or frustrated reaction by car driver and horn honking at someone perceived doing something wrong or inconvenient to them. 

    Not saying the person in the road should have been there, or also isn’t at fault for their reaction, and especially gun escalation. But, if the car driver hadn’t reacted negatively to the person in the road in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened.

    Go easy on each other out there. Literally everyone is stressed.

    ’An eye for an eye, will only make the whole world blind’ – M. Ghandi

  • G February 28, 2021 (9:17 pm)

    As far as I can tell, it seems like the “suspect” acted out of self defense. 

  • Concerned Parent March 1, 2021 (12:58 pm)

    Funding Police and greater regulation are symptomatic arguments stemming from poor education and dangerous socialized norms… “If thing happens, I use force to retaliate.” What if the people of Seattle chose to fund quality social institutions, invested in education at all levels, provided care for children, and in turn moved to value critical thinking rather than constrained reactionary policy. Systemic issues are why someone would feel it their right to brandish a weapon to end an argument, it is also the reason someone would rage over a vehicle incident. This is the long pole that takes us all to raise. 

    • Johnny March 1, 2021 (10:44 pm)

      What IF indeed. it starts with little baby steps.  Pay it forward everyone and watch the world change before your eyes. Do not be discouraged by the inevitable setbacks, keep going. Peace out.

  • Alex March 4, 2021 (1:52 pm)

    I flipped off someone for almost hitting me with their car in an intersection they honked at me flipped the bird back to me and we went our own way. If the guy got out and threw a rock at me I’d be hella pissed and want to engage. Now if the person throwing the rock is physically bigger than you and starts to chase you what are you to do? Run? He catches you and beats the snot out of you and then takes your gun? Uses it on you? Steals the gun? Uses it on someone else instead of throwing a rock?

Sorry, comment time is over.